cooking beef steak in a Cast Iron pan

Cooking the perfect steak is among the most coveted chef skills in any kitchen. The 3 main ingredients of success are the right cut of meat, knowing the proper technique and a high-quality pan or griddle.

What are the best materials for a steak-frying pan? Should you go for a grill pan, a fry pan or a griddle? Let's look at how some top rated pans perform when it comes to searing that prime piece of juicy meat!

Top Rated Pans for Steak Frying Reviewed

We have selected 7 griddles that can handle the job of frying a juicy steak covering a range of materials and price points.

*We select and review all products independently, based on our opinion and customer feedback. Some links on this page are affiliate links and if you make a purchase we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. You can read more info on our disclaimer page.

Best budget

1. Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

- Base material: cast iron
- Interior: cast iron
- Cooktops: gas, electric, grill, coal fire

Our Rating

9.1

Best cast iron

2. Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Grill Pan with Press

- Base material: enameled cast iron
- Interior: cast iron
- Cooktops: gas, electric, glass top, induction

Our Rating

9.3

Best carbon steel

3. De Buyer Mineral B Carbon Steel Fry Pan

- Base material: carbon steel
- Interior: carbon steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, glass top, induction

Our Rating

9.1

Best high-end

4. All-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless-Steel Professional Grade Frying Pan

- Base: 3-ply stainless steel w. aluminum core
- Interior: stainless-steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, glass top, induction

Our Rating

9.4

Best flat griddle

5. Lodge Pro Grid Cast Iron Reversible Griddle

- Base material: cast iron
- Interior: cast iron
- Cooktops: gas, electric, induction, grill 

Our Rating

9.3

#6

6. Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Steel Fry Pan

- Base: stainless steel w. aluminum core
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, glass top, induction 

Our Rating

9.0

#7

7. Heritage Steel 7-ply Titanium Strengthened Stainless Steel Pan

- Base material: stainless steel
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, glass top, induction

Our Rating

8.3

Best budget

1. Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

- Base material: cast iron
- Interior: cast iron
- Cooktops: gas, electric, grill, coal fire

Our Rating

9.1

Best cast iron

2. Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Grill Pan with Press

- Base material: enameled cast iron
- Interior: cast iron
- Cooktops: gas, electric, glass top, induction

Our Rating

9.3

Best carbon steel

3. De Buyer Mineral B Carbon Steel Fry Pan

- Base material: carbon steel
- Interior: carbon steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, glass top, induction

Our Rating

9.1

Best high-end

4. All-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless-Steel Professional Grade Frying Pan

- Base: 3-ply stainless steel w. aluminum core
- Interior: stainless-steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, glass top, induction

Our Rating

9.4

Best flat griddle

5. Lodge Pro Grid Cast Iron Reversible Griddle

- Base material: cast iron
- Interior: cast iron
- Cooktops: gas, electric, induction, grill 

Our Rating

9.3

#6

6. Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Steel Fry Pan

- Base: stainless steel w. aluminum core
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, glass top, induction

Our Rating

9.0

#7

7. Heritage Steel 7-ply Titanium Strengthened Stainless Steel Pan

- Base material: stainless steel
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, glass top, induction

Our Rating

8.3

Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

Design:

This cast iron skillet is a 10-inch wide round skillet that has an ergonomic handle and an assist handle extending from the body. The top circular edge features two pouring spouts that are located directly opposite each other. The skillet is sold with an accompanying red silicone handle cover and weighs 5.35 pounds.

Materials:

The body of this pan is made of durable cast iron material that comes pre-seasoned from the manufacturer. Both handles extend from the body of the pan, thus eliminating the need for attachment rivets and making the handles sturdy. The silicone cover on the handles allows users to handle the skillet even when hot. You can use the cast iron skillet over coal flames, gas and electric stoves, as well as on a grill flame.

Usability:

We like the Lodge Skillet because it does not require buyers to preseason it before use. It comes pre-seasoned from the factory using electrostatic spray. 

The skillet has great heat retention, which is important for cooking or roasting steaks. Its two handles enable the user to transfer the skillet when holding food contents easily while the included silicone handle cover works to protect his or her hands when handling the hot skillet.

Users say that the cooking surface has natural non-stick properties that get better every time one uses it. The cooking surface is easy to clean and care for. The recommended method for cleaning by the manufacturer involves washing the pan with warm water, drying it, and finally coating the cooking surface with a layer of oil to protect it from rusting.


Pros

  • The cooking surface develops natural non-stick abilities with more use
  • Sold with a removable silicone cover for the handle
  • Pre-seasoned from the factory
  • Has high heat retention

Cons

  • The skillet is heavy
  • Comes with a pebbly textured cooking surface

Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Grill Pan with Press

Design:

This Tramontina Grill pan is square shaped with an 11-inch cooking surface. The exterior is coated with porcelain and comes in optional blue or red colors. The cooking surface has a matte black non-stick coating and is ribbed with straight grill lines that run across from end to end. The pan has an ergonomic and helper handle that extend from the body and is sold with a covering lid that has a knob handle at the top. The pan and covering lid have a weight of 9.8 pounds.

Materials:

The pan has a body with a cast-iron core that is coated with vibrant porcelain material on the exterior and a matte black non-stick coating on the cooking surface. The included ergonomic and helper handles are part of the body to make it easy transfer of the pan with food contents.

Deep grill lines that are etched on the cooking surface enable separation of grease and fats from the food. The pan is oven safe up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and can be used on gas, electric, ceramic glass, and induction cooktops.

Usability:

We like the color choice provided by the pan's manufacturer because it enables the buyers to choose between red and blue color options. The cooking surface that has deep grill lines enables cooking of extra crispy steaks by allowing grease and fats to separate from the food.

The non-stick coating on the cooking surface is healthy and free from PFOA and PTFE toxins. Steaks cooked on the pan easily slide off the cooking surface, thus making the cleanup after a cooking session fast and effortless. The pan is not safe for dishwasher cleaning and should only be cleaned by hand.

Owners of this pan give pointers about caring for the pan by using only non-abrasive cooking utensils on the cooking surface. This is because metallic cooking spoons and spatulas scratch the non-stick surface. Users love the performance of the pan in the oven since it tolerates high temperatures of up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.


Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Has grill lines that enable separation of grease and fats from food
  • Includes a covering lid
  • Safe for oven use
  • Can be used over all cooktops including induction heaters

Cons

  • The exterior starts to discolor after some time
  • The pan is very heavy

De Buyer Mineral B Carbon Steel Fry Pan

Design:

De Buyer Carbon steel pan has a top diameter of 12.5 inches and features a long slight bent handle that is attached to the body by three rivets arranged in an inverted triangle pattern. The opposite side has a spacious helper handle attached to the body by two rivets. The pan weighs 6.3 pounds.

Materials:

The body of the pan is made of natural carbon steel mineral and features a beeswax finish that enables the cooking surface to develop natural non-stick properties with more use. The body is thin and measures 2.5 millimeters, which enables it to heat up quickly. Handles are attached to the body of the pan using carbon steel rivets. The carbon steel body makes the pan suitable for cooking over all cooking stoves including induction heaters.

Usability:

We like the unique handles on this pan because they give the cook maximum control of the pan when cooking. The long straight handle is securely attached to the body and allows the cook to toss and turn the pan with slight hand movements while the helper handle enable steady holding of the pan when transferring the pan together with food contents.

The beeswax finish is safe for cooking at extremely high temperatures since it is natural. It also helps the cooking surface to develop non-stick properties the more it is used.

Users wo have pet birds in their homes praise the cooking surface on this pan because it enables safe use without releasing toxic emissions that are bad for their pets.


Pros

  • French design on the handle enables easy maneuvering when cooking
  • The handles are firmly attached to the pan
  • Has a natural non-stick cooking surface
  • Heats up quickly

Cons

  • Requires seasoning
  • The handles become hot after cooking for long hours

All-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless-Steel Professional Grade Frying Pan

Design:

This All-Clad Stainless-steel pan has a 12-inch wide cooking surface and a mirror polished exterior. The pan has slightly slanted walls and is sold with a mirror polished covering lid. Its ergonomic handle is long and has a small hole close to the end. The pan weighs 4.5 pounds.

Materials:

The pan's body features three layers. The innermost layer that covers the cooking surface is made of 18/10 stainless that enables delivery of safe and healthy food. A middle layer made of aluminum assures you of quick heating and even distribution of the heat. The exterior layer, which is made of induction ready stainless steel, enables the pan to be used over induction, gas, electric, and ceramic cooktops.

Usability:

The All-Clad pan cooks up meals quickly and evenly due to the middle aluminum core that transfers heat from the bottom and extends it to the sidewalls. The handles also remain cool to touch and are comfortable to hold.

All the parts of the pan, including the covering lid, are dishwasher safe, which gives the cook an easy time cleaning. Users of this pan have found fast and safe methods of removing stains and stuck food items from the pan.

They recommend using a mixture of vinegar and water to scrub off the stains. A soft sponge also cleans the exterior surface well enough. They also advise against using the stainless steel surface to cook when it is completely dry. Always have some cooking oil on the cooking surface before heating up the pan to allow it to heat up gradually.


Pros

  • Easy to clean by handwashing or in the dishwasher
  • Supports all cooking tops including induction heaters
  • Heats up quickly and uniformly
  • Sold with a covering lid

Cons

  • Prone to warping when cooking with extremely high heat
  • Cooking with too little cooking oil causes food to stick on the surface

Lodge Pro Grid Cast Iron Reversible Griddle

Design:

This Reversible Griddle comprises two rectangular black plates that have a cooking surface measuring 20 by 10.5 inches. One plate serves as a griddle with a flat surface while the other plate serves as a grill pan with grill lines that run horizontally across the cooking surface. Both plates have two handles on each end and a raised surrounding edge. The combined weight of both plates is 13.35 pounds.

Materials:

The grill plate and griddle are both made of cast iron material, which is pre-seasoned at the factory before the plates are shipped. The handles enable easy handling of each plate while the raised edges restrict liquids from dripping away from the cooking surface. The reversible nature of the plates allows them to be used individually or together on a campfire, grill, gas, or on any cooking stove as well as in the oven.

Usability:

We like the separable plates in this reversible set because individuals can use the plates individually or enjoy a combined use that has one plate on the cooking stove while the other plate covers the food. The handles on each end of both plates allow easy flipping, lifting, and can be used to hang the plate on a kitchen shelf when not in use.

Users found these plates the best when it comes to grilling steaks. They have great heat retention and can be used on indoor cooking stoves as well as over outdoor campfires and coal flames. The reversible cooking, however, messes up the seasoning on the plate facing the flame.

The cleaning of the cast iron griddle and grill plates should be done using warm water only. This is because soap and detergents could damage the seasoning on the surface. The plates should also be covered with a light oil layer before storage to prevent the surface from rusting.


Pros

  • Plates have high heat retention
  • Can be used indoors on cooking stoves and outdoors on campfires
  • Food does not stick on the surface
  • Easy to hold handles

Cons

  • Seasoning on the plate facing the flame gets damaged quickly
  • Requires care to prevent rusting

Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Steel Fry Pan

Design:

This Cuisinart stainless steel pan has a 14-inch wide and 4- inch deep cooking surface, which is mirror polished. The body of the pan has one straight handle that is dual riveted on one side and a helper handle that is riveted on the opposite side. The pan's top has a non-drip edge all around and weighs only 1 pound when packed.

Materials:

This pan has an aluminum core that is covered by 18/10 stainless steel. The aluminum core enables quick and uniform heating of the body while the stainless-steel material provides a safe cooking surface. The handles are also made of stainless steel and feature a spacious design that provides an easy and comfortable hold on the pan. The pan can be used in the oven safely up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit and over gas, electric, and ceramic cooktops.

Usability:

This pan packs many features that are useful to the modern chef. The top edge rim enables non-drip and precise pouring, thus allowing the cook to plate and serve the food cooked with this pan without creating any mess.

Its stay cool handles are spacious while the inclusion of a helper handle enables the cook to transfer the pan together with food contents easily.

Users of this pan love the quick and even heating of the base, which is enabled by the encapsulated aluminum base plate. However, the plate is only at the base and does not extend to the walls, which causes the base to heat up quicker as compared to the rest of the pan. The pan also holds up well in extreme heat levels, of up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven, as well as in low temperatures, such as in the fridge when storing food.


Pros

  • The base heats up quickly and evenly with no hotspots
  • The handles remain cool even after hours of use
  • Top edge has a non-drip rim
  • Includes helper handle

Cons

  • The pan is prone to rusting with more use
  • Cooking on a gas stove needs the cook to keep adjusting the flame

Heritage Steel 7-ply Titanium Strengthened Stainless Steel Pan

Design:

The pan has a silver color on both the interior and exterior. Its top circular edge measures 12-inches from end to end and has slightly slanted walls that meet a flat cooking surface. The ergonomic handle is held in place by two horizontally placed rivets that go through the body. The pan weighs 2.9 pounds.

Materials:

Seven layers of material make up the pan's body and include three layers of aluminum for enhanced rapid heating and uniform heat distribution. The exterior layer includes titanium reinforced 439 steel that enhances the durability of the pan and makes it suitable for use over all common stoves, including induction heaters.

Usability:

We were impressed by the multi-layer construction of the Heritage pan because it enables quick heating and enhances the pan's durability. The cooking surface that is strengthened with titanium resists corrosion and delivers safe food due to the chemical insertion process followed during the manufacture of the pan.

People who have experience using this pan in their kitchens give pointers about cooking with the pan in-order to get the best results. They say that the stainless steel surface provides the best food release when they apply cooking oil on the cold surface of the pan and heat it up together with the pan.

Users also claim that the pan is easier to clean when the heat is moderated to medium or low level when cooking. They also reveal that scrubbing the cooking surface when cleaning, which happens when you have burnt food, leads to scratches that allow food to stick on it.


Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Supports use on all cooking stoves including induction heaters
  • Can be used in the oven
  • Handles remain cool to the touch
  • Covered under limited warranty

Cons

  • Extreme heat causes the pan to warp
  • Using the pan on a gas stove requires the cook to regulate the flame

How to Choose the Best Pan for Frying a Steak?

Steaks require exposure to high temperatures continuously and for a long time to cook on the interior as well as on the outside. Besides withstanding high temperatures, however, a good steak pan should also be able to trap in the flavors and moisture of the steak. When looking for a pan to cook steaks with, consider the following factors.

Heat distribution

A well-made steak is one that is cooked uniformly on all sides. This can only be achieved when you cook the steak using a pan that has even heat distribution. Heat distribution eliminates hot spots that make some parts of the steak overcook while the other parts barely receive enough heat.

cooking beef steak on gas stove

Undercooked meat is tough and not safe for consumption. The pan you use to cook the steak, therefore, should be made of materials that heat up quickly and evenly.

Size

The size of the steak pan limits the amount of food that you can cook on it. Steaks require frequent turning when being cooked on an open pan to ensure that all the sides cook evenly. The size of the pan you pick for use in your kitchen should hold enough steaks to feed the number of people you are cooking for. Having a small sized pan to cook many steaks forces you to spend a long time in the kitchen since you have to cook each steak separately.

If you are cooking for a large crowd, consider going with a large sized pan that can fit many steaks at a go and leaves space for turning the steaks to enable uniform cooking.

When picking the pan size, consider the size of your cooker. If you buy a pan larger than your cooker, it will take longer to heat it up, which means that your meat might have uncooked sections.

Structure

The structure of the pan determines how well the pan cooks up meat. Pans with a multi-clad structure will take advantage of each of the materials that make up the pan and give it much more capability. The all clad pan combines stainless steel with aluminum layers, which means that it heats up quickly because of the good heat transfer of aluminum and is capable of cooking heathy food due to its stainless steel layers.

Grill lines

Pans that have grill lines on the cooking surface can cook crispy steaks that are free from fat and grease. Depending on how you like to cook your steak, you could also go for a covered pan that helps to trap in the moistures and flavor of the steak.

a delicious beef steak in pan

Ease of use and maintenance

Steaks pans collect grease and leftover food items that can be hard to get rid of. The ease of use and ease of cleaning should also be considered when you are choosing a steak pan for your kitchen. Steak pans that have a helper handle are also convenient for transferring the pan together with food contents. You should also look at pans that have a top edge with precision pouring notches to avoid messing up the table when serving or plating the food you have prepared.


Materials for Steak Pans

The material that makes up the body of a steak pan also affects the weight of the pan and determines how the pan performs during use. Different materials also require the cook to follow different care and cleaning methods. The section below reviews the various materials that make up the popular steak pans and highlights how each material affects the performance of the pan.

Cast Iron

Steak pans made of cast iron are perfect for searing steaks because they can withstand high temperatures without warping or releasing any harmful fumes from the cooking surface. Iron is a very good conductor of heat, which gives the pan an effective heat distribution capability that eliminates hotspots. The cast iron pans also have high heat retention, which means that they keep the contents hot.

Cast iron pans require seasoning before they can be used. Some manufacturers pre-season their pans before they are sold but doing it again at home makes the seasoning better and more durable. The cooking surface on a cast iron pan also develops non-stick abilities the more it is used. This means the pans get better with age.

Cleaning cast iron pans is done with only warm water. The pans are not safe to clean in the dishwasher or using soap and detergents. They are also very heavy and expensive.

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel pans are also great when used to cook steaks. The pans are lighter as compared to the cast iron pans and have thinner bodies. The carbon steel body also heats up quickly but also cools down faster than cast iron does.

Like cast iron pans, carbon steel pans also require seasoning before they can be used because they are susceptible to rust. In fact, manufacturers usually coat them with a protective wax layer that prevents the surface from rusting during storage and shipping. 

This layer means that the carbon steel pans cannot be used right out of packaging and require the buyer to get rid of the wax layer and then season the pan before use.

Carbon steel pans can be cleaned using mild soap and water. They also require the seasoning to be repeated after some time when it wears off.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel pans are lighter and capable of heating up quickly. The stainless steel surface is non-reactive, which means that users can prepare steaks and meat on the pan using spices and additional flavoring items, such as wine and beer.

Stainless steel pans rely on different core materials, such as aluminum and copper, which are better conductors of heat than steel is. The pans are also easy to care for and clean. They do not require seasoning and can be cleaned with soap and detergents in the dishwasher.


FAQ

What is the best pan for searing meat?

Searing meat requires the pan to be heated to extremely high temperatures, making a cast iron pan or a stainless steel pan prefect for searing. Enamel-coated pans are not good for searing since the extremely high temperatures could damage the coating.

Is cast iron or stainless steel better for searing?

A stainless steel pan with an aluminum core sears meat better as compared to a cast iron pan because it heats up quicker and has lesser chances of developing hotspots.

cooking beef steak by stainless steel panpan

How do you cook steak in a steel pan?

To cook a steak in a steel pan, ensure that you first heat the pan with a little cooking oil for a few minutes before placing the steak on the pan. (1) The steak should be cooked under medium heat and by turning it after every few minutes to ensure that all the sides cook uniformly.

Is pan searing the same as frying?

Searing is a preparation method that gets the meat ready for a follow-up cooking process such as roasting or braising. Frying is a complete cooking process that results in food that is ready to eat.

Sean Bennett
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